Damning evidence from Sir Peter Jackson that the unions have never wanted to engage in constructive discussions. They had already voted to blacklist The Hobbit prior to getting in touch with him.
All NZ Equity sought was to meet with the production and discuss the conditions under which performers would be engaged….This request to meet was backed by the International Federation of Actors (FIA) and performers’ unions around the world including SAG and Equity UK. The request was in the first instance made privately, without the glare of the media on August 17.
The letter that Peter Jackson received, which was the first contact made “without the glare of the media” read as follows:
Recently, The International Federation of Actors (FIA) became aware that the production of “The Hobbit” intends to hire performers under non-union contracts. For this reason FIA, at its most recent meeting, unanimously passed the following motion:
“Resolved, that the International Federation of Actors urges each of its affiliates to adopt instructions to their members that no member of any FIA affiliate will agree to act in the theatrical feature film “The Hobbit” until such time as the producer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance for production in New Zealand providing for satisfactory terms and conditions for all performers employed on the production”.
FIA therefore encourages you to meet immediately with representatives of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance in order to reach an agreement covering all performers engaged on this production.
In the first instance could you please make contact with Simon Whipp of the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance.
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